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[CQ-Contest] The Cheating Thing

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] The Cheating Thing
From: Steve Sacco <nn4x@embarqmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 18:15:58 -0500 (EST)
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Hi Everyone -

It's been awhile since I've been QRV, but I went QRT after the hurricanes of 
2004, and have slowly been getting things back together, and hope to be on the 
air soon.

When the station is functioning, it's pretty good, and I've done well in the 
contests.  I've been contesting since the late 1970's, and have been lucky 
enough to have been associated with some of the very best folks out there.

I re-subscribed to the cq-contest reflector in anticipation all this, and 
wanted to get back into the groove.

After digesting the last several day's worth of discussion, I thought it was 
time to say something, so here goes:

1) There have always been a small minority of cheaters.  That doesn't make it 
right; it's just a fact.  There will always be cheaters, in any endeavor.

2) Technology has made it both easier to cheat, and easier to catch cheaters.  

3) Given that these activities are done for fun, not profit, the cheaters will 
always have the advantage.

4) Given:
   a) That we cannot ever have a level playing field due to different 
geographic locations and station setups, and,
   b) That computer technology has advanced sufficiently to allow programs like 
Morse Runner to simulate amazingly real CW contest conditions, and that, in 
conjunction with
   c) Telecommunication technology has advanced sufficiently to support MMOG 
("Massively Multiplayer Online Games")

I believe the time may have come to move the CW and digital contests into 
"virtual world".  (Phone 'tests won't be far behind, pending sufficiently 
powerful voice recognition applications).  

Think about the advantages: the possibility of a level playing field for all, 
realtime scoring, instant results, and given a way to verify the actual person 
operating virtual station, no ability to cheat.  Obviously, this could be 
extended, just like other MMOG's, to allow personalization of your own 
antennas/equipment/location.  Perhaps you could "buy" better hardware or 
locations with the points you earned from your previous contest efforts.

The possibilities are endless, really.


Steve NN4X

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